Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hanoi: Art, Rain and Walking

Saturday dawned ...wet.  For the 1st time in nearly 2 months we saw rain. We headed out with our umbrellas but soon realised that they were not really going to work in the conditions.  So we started looking for rain ponchos - like the locals were wearing on their motorbikes.  A few blocks accidentally out of our way (great sense of direction Andrew!) we found pvc rain ponchos.  Mine is green - apparently so I will be seen in traffic.


Suitably attired with set off to our intended destination - the Hanoi art gallery.  It is considered the best gallery in South East Asia and did have a varied collection.  It was interesting to see the influence of recent history on the collection.  You would look at a painting of a pond, and think this is a pleasant water colour.  Then you notice the soldiers hiding in the reeds.

Across the street is the Temple of Literature.  This was Vietnams 1st university and was a temple of Confuciuos.  There is a series of courtyards and paths through.  A very popular place with the tourists and a popular place to have your wedding photos taken.

Andrew was quite impressed with the kiddy suit mannequins, but with his size compared to the locals always meant clothing was never going to be on our shopping list.



On our final morning in Hanoi shoes were on the agenda.  I needed some shoes and size 40 is next to impossible to find in Vientiane.  So we headed to the shoe district and still struggled.  However a pair of red shoes were sourced.  Andrew spent time in the street conversing with the locals.

Andrew found a potential new career option, but thought the work conditions might be a bit challenging.



We had found a Financial Times - by going to the gift shop/ bakery at the Hilton Hotel.  The first international paper pretty much since arriving in Asia. 

We flew back to Vientiane.  It was amazing as we drove out of the airport how quiet the city was in comparison.  And how much warmer. 

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